freestyle friday, fourth of july edition

just desserts

©from maggie's farm 2011
seize the moment.  remember all those women on the titanic that waved off the dessert cart.
erma bombeck

well, we've made it to another three-day holiday and i think we should celebrate.  especially if you've been dogged with one hundred degree plus weather as many days as we have.  so, today we get what's coming to us.  we get our.........
just desserts!
we have a little fun, sneak in some superfoods, believe it or not, and try to get in and out of the kitchen as quickly as possible with sweets to impress crowd, quartet, duo, or solo on
 freestyle fridays,
fourth of july edition.

©from maggie's farm 2011
we'll be preparing three desserts, designed for a minimum of fuss with a maximum of oooh la la with
+red hot apple ricotta tart
+blueberry mascarpone shortbread bites
and,  (a little cheat for you),
+strawberry lemon and vanilla bean dessert sauce over ice cream

©from maggie's farm 2011
red hot apple ricotta tart

©from maggie's farm 2011
  • one 9" tart crust
  • one cup candied red hots
  • one tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 oz nonfat ricotta cheese
  • 5 large tart apples (we used pink lady and granny smith, combined), peeled, cored, sliced in thin, uniform slices

©from maggie's farm 2011

+preheat over to 425 degrees.  butter 9" tart or pie pan. set aside.

©from maggie's farm 2011
baking gets a little messy
+in a nonstick saucepan over low heat, combine candied red hots, water, and butter.  simmer until candies are melted, about 15 minutes.
+meanwhile, roll out tart crust to a diameter of 1" beyond the size of prepared pan.  transfer to tart pan and trim excess. 
+ dot crust with ricotta cheese, then layer slices of apple concentrically

©from maggie's farm 2011
 +drizzle red hot syrup over top of tart
+bake, uncovered, until crust is lightly browned, apple slices are tender, and filling is bubbling.
+allow to cool at least one hour prior to garnishing (or removing from tart pan, if using.)
+garnish with creme fraiche, mascarpone, or whipped cream, and a sprinkling of sliced almonds, optionally

©from maggie's farm 2011
blueberry mascarpone shortbread bites


©from maggie's farm 2011
  • 8oz fresh blueberries
  • 8oz mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • packaged shortbread cookies
  • fresh raspberries to garnish
  • optional thyme, sage or mint to garnish
+ in a bowl, crush berries and cream together with mascarpone
+ refrigerate for one hour to firm
+ fill a pastry bag, or a food storage bag (see image) with blueberry filling.
+ pipe filling atop cookie

©from maggie's farm 2011
+press raspberry lightly onto top of blueberry mascarpone
+garnish with thyme, sage, or mint, as desired.

©from maggie's farm 2011
strawberry lemon vanilla bean dessert sauce over ice cream
here's your promised "cheat"
  • your favorite vanilla ice cream (in texas, we're partial to bluebell homemade vanilla)
  • from maggie's farm strawberry lemon vanilla bean dessert sauce
  • +spoon sauce straight from the jar over scoops of ice cream. 
    +hear the ooohs and ahs, but take all the credit!

    ©from maggie's farm 2011
    great with shortbread, or angel food cake, too!
    superfoods we've used
    friends, we are not going to pretend that massive servings of the desserts above are actually healthy for you.  what we will say is that it is suggested that denying yourself special treats upon occasion is not an effective way to build healthy eating habits, but rather to use self discipline to indulge in small ways, and enjoy those bites to their fullest.  also, using wholesome ingredients such as the blueberries, almonds, thyme and nonfat ricotta cheese, superfoods we've discussed in previous posts, and apples, that we'll explore today, one diminishes further the concerns inherent in the word, dessert.  eat healthy foods, in moderate amounts, and get some exercise, and you can occasionally enjoy your
    just desserts!
    inflammation fighter
    an apple a day reduces swelling thanks to quercetin, a flavonoid also found in the skin of red onions.  quercetin reduces the risk of allergies, heart disease, alzheimer's, parkinson's, and prostate and lung cancers.  red delicious apples contain the most inflammation-fighting antioxidants.  
    this week from maggie's farm
    what we harvested this week: our first beautiful red heirloom tomato!, sweet onions, kale, yellow straightneck squash, delicata squash, spaghetti squash, cream peas, lady peas, sweet and hot peppers, the last of the cabbage, green beans, wax beans, eggplant, beets, kohlrabi, sweet onion, garlic, bunching onions, rosemary, thyme, basil, sage, chives, oregano, bay leaves, mint, goat milk, and fresh, organic farm fresh hen's eggs.
    what we produced this week: fennel carrot kraut, goat milk paneer, deli dills,  and peach chipotle butter.
    what we tackled this week:  we were inspired by margaret roach from a way to garden
    to make container water gardens.  while we were at it, we paved a small patio, mounted trellises, planted honeysuckle vines, repotted herbs, de-skunked a dog, took several long hikes (check out that link if you're interested in a gorgeous local state park only 5 miles from home), painted an iron bench, built a small wooden bench, and built and mounted two 'salad boxes' outside the kitchen windows.  follow the link if you'd like to build one, too! we got a lot done this week, huh?
    what we are thankful for:  we are thankful for the privilege of living in the united states of america. perhaps we can set aside our differences these few days, as we celebrate our independence, and give thanks for all that we do have, together.  
    words that inspire us:
    love your country.  your country is the land where your parents sleep, where is spoken that language in which the chosen of your heart, blushing, whispered the first word of love; it is the home that God has given you that by striving to perfect yourselves therein you may prepare to ascend to him.
    ~Giuseppe Mazzini


  1. It's really cool the way you added text to your pictures. Is there anything you can't do? xo

  2. Sweet of you to let me know that you are making a seasonal water garden. My favorite "chore" of the spring is setting up my two troughs by the kitchen door.

  3. where do you find the time??

  4. You make me tired and shame me all at the same time! I wish I had just half of your energy! Or maybe I'm just lazy lol. Thanks for the yummy recipes and yet another great blog post!

  5. Thank you all for your kind comments. It is very encouraging, affirming, motivating to have people enjoy what you do, and take the time to pat you on the back. Bless you all!


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